School of Public Health and Community Medicine

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Bachelor of International Public Health

About the Program

Do you want to tackle global health issues and join a profession that operates across borders? The Bachelor of International Public Health will provide you with an understanding of the key issues impacting the health of populations around the world.

This three-year degree is available in dual mode delivery. There is the option to come and study some of the courses on the UNSW Sydney campus or you can complete the degree fully online. You can undertake the Bachelor of International Public Health on a full or part-time basis, at a pace that suits your needs. It will prepare you to design and implement new public health approaches for emerging social issues including the impacts of climate change and an increasingly connected world on health.

Why study public or population health?

Clinical medicine equips healthcare workers to treat individuals who get sick or injured, one patient at a time. Public or Population Health is designed to prevent people in a population or a community from getting sick or injured and to provide solutions when they do. This is done through tackling the root causes of ill-health improving quality of life so fewer people need to go to the doctor or take medication. In comparison public Health can take many forms, for example:

  • Investigating health problems and hazards in the community
  • Educating people about healthy behaviours
  • Designing programs to prevent the spread of disease
  • Addressing causes of health inequity and inequality
  • Guiding government health policies and programs

International public health involves taking a worldwide perspective. Public health issues and responses are considered in the context of changing patterns of disease and injury of populations within and across countries. This program will prepare you with the global public health knowledge and skillsets for professional opportunities in a wide range of local and global contexts, as well as to transition to a higher degree, including graduate medicine, Master’s program, or PhD.

The BIPH is designed to build and strengthen the international public health workforce to help offset a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers worldwide. It reflects 21st century best practice on transforming public health education using both online and face to face learning opportunities in an increasingly globalised world.


About our academics

Adam Howie is a Bardi man from the Kimberly’s in Western Australia. He spent the first part of his working life in the Navy on surface ships and then submarines. Upon leaving the Navy Adam stated on his journey within health. He has extensive experience working within Emergency Services in Western Australia and New South Wales as a Paramedic and Intensive Care Paramedic. He has performed this role in remote, rural and metropolitan locations. Adam has spent the past 2 ½ years working within Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network in NSW as a Population Health Trainee. Adam is passionate about custodial health and patient advocacy, and currently doing a Master of Public Health. He is looking forward to being a part of research into aged care, Aboriginal health and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse health population provision within the custodial and forensic settings.

Areas of Study

Our course material has been developed by UNSW Sydney and Arizona State University. Moving away from the traditional classroom, this innovative degree will immerse you in a global learning setting. You will study with students from Australia, the United States and around the world, bringing a global perspective to your education.

You’ll explore a range of case studies, spanning international contexts and population health issues and priorities. Some of the issues you’ll consider include:

  • Why are some communities prone to infectious disease outbreaks?
  • How will climate change impact the health of populations?
  • How do we address the growing impact of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer?
  • Why are women still dying in childbirth?
  • How do we measure changes in disease patterns over time?

The degree examines infectious and non-infectious diseases, women’s and children’s health, mental illness, indigenous health and environmental health.

All courses are closely interconnected to support a coherent degree experience and prepare you for new approaches to emerging global public health issues. The courses within this degree will develop your skills in areas such as:

  • community empowerment
  • community partnerships and self-determination
  • advocacy and community engagement
  • effective communication
  • critical thinking
  • cultural competence
  • independent work
  • research methods in health
  • systems thinking
  • teamwork and leadership.

You’ll also complete a capstone experience, with the option of either a research project, internship or public health study abroad tour.

Program Structure

Program Structure

There are a range of learning options available for you in this degree. You may wish to come onto campus and complete all or some of the UNSW delivered courses (prefix PHCM) at the Sydney campus. Alternatively, you can complete all the courses fully online. The courses delivered by Arizona State University will need to be completed online.

(Courses with prefix PHCM are delivered by UNSW and courses with prefix YMED are delivered by ASU)

Year 1 (42 UOC)
YMED1008 Introduction to Global Health (6 UOC)
PHCM1001 International Indigenous Health (6 UOC)
YMED1001 Introduction to Population Health (6 UOC)
YMED1003 General Biology (6 UOC)
YMED1005 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (6 UOC)
Two General Education courses: GENED choice of online courses available at UNSW (12 UOC)
Year 3 (54 UOC)
PHCM3001 Ethics in Public Health (6 UOC)
PHCM3003 Public Health Capstone (6 UOC)
PHCM3007 Applied Public Health Practice (6 UOC)
YMED3006 Comparative Health Systems (6 UOC)
YMED3007 Environmental & Occupational Health (6 UOC)
Four electives from the list below (18 UOC to 24 UOC):

There are other elective options available to students to complete at the Sydney Campus or online. An extended list of electives can be obtained by contacting the School on

Career Pathways

Targeted to meet the needs of students wherever they are based, this degree provides a stepping stone to a career in international public health or international development. Through unique course offerings and flexible online delivery, PLuS Alliance graduates will stand out amongst their peers and gain a perspective on global public health which is truly valued by key employers. Graduates will be equipped with core skills for a career in public health, epidemiology, health protection, health promotion or surveillance and disease prevention.

Potential careers outcomes include: Public Health Officer, Health Promotion Officer, Health Professionals, Health Information Manager, Community Health Officer, Policy Officer, Program or Project Administrator, Education Professionals, Public health advocate, Epidemiologist, Health communications specialist, Government and research assistant positions in health promotion and health economics.

Potential employers include government agencies (such as health departments), research centres and multinationals/ development agencies (e.g. UN, World Bank, CDC, WHO, AHRC, and MSF). Graduates may also pursue a research career in public health or seek higher studies, such as a graduate medical program, Master’s program or PhD.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Domestic Applicants

Applications must be submitted through Universities Admission Centre ) (UAC). Click here to view the UAC Bachelor of International Public Heath page.

UAC Code: 428200

Click here for information on entry requirements .

The main closing date for UAC applications Term 3, 2020 domestic applicants is 2 July 2020 and final deadline is 11 August 2020. 

The main closing date for UAC applications Term 1, 2021 domestic applicants is 30 September 2020 and final deadline is 22 January 2021.

International Applicants

International applicants can apply:

The deadline for on-time UNSW Apply Online applications for international applicants for Term 3 2020 entry (mid-September start) is 31 July 2020. The deadline for Term 1, 2021 entry (mid-February start) is 30 November 2021. The deadline for Term 2, 2021 entry (end of May start) is 31 March 2021. Applications can be submitted after this date subject to places being available.

Course Outlines

Click on the following links to view a course description and outline of the BIPH UNSW courses:

PHCM1001 International Indigenous Health
PHCM2001 Epidemiology
PHCM2002 Biostatistics
PHCM2003 Health Promotion
PHCM2004 Communicable Disease
PHCM2005 Principles of Prevention & Public Health Surveillance
PHCM2006 Public Health Policy & Programs
PHCM2007 Health Leadership
PHCM2009 Global Chronic Disease Prevention and Control
PHCM3001 Ethics in Public Health
PHCM3004 Women's and Children's Health
PHCM3007 Applied Public Health Practice
PHCM3009 The Power of Sport: An Introduction to Sport for Social Change


Click on the following links to view a course description of the BIPH ASU courses:

YMED1001 Introduction to Public Health
YMED1003 General Biology
YMED1005 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology
YMED1008 Introduction to Global Health
YMED3007 Environmental & Occupational Health